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Speeding driver clocked at 151mph on M62 during lockdown

speeding car

Police forces across the UK have caught drivers speeding during the lockdown, with one driver breaking the legal limit by 81mph and another clocked doing 108mph in a 40mph zone.

The freedom of information (FOI) request to all British police forces reveals that 20 police forces reporting offenders travelling at speeds in excess of 100mph.

“Some of the speeds police forces have caught drivers doing are truly shocking,” said RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams.

“At such high speeds there is virtually no time to react should anything unexpected happen in front such as a car changing lanes at the last second or a vehicle having to brake suddenly.”

The worst incident of speeding during the first three weeks of the lockdown was recorded in West Yorkshire, with a driver clocked travelling at 151mph on the M62 motorway – 81mph over the speed limit.

The second fastest speed recorded was on the A14 in Suffolk, where a motorist was clocked at 140mph.

Five forces – Northamptonshire, Gwent, Staffordshire, Kent and Humberside – all caught motorists driving at speeds in excess of 130mph on the motorway and three others – Police Scotland, the Met and Lancashire – recorded drivers at speeds in excess of 120mph.

Derbyshire’s fastest offender was clocked at 108mph, but that was on a stretch of the M1 with a 40mph limit - 68mph above the speed limit.

The only other force whose highest speed was in a 40mph limit was Bedfordshire – here the driver was clocked at 104mph on Airport Way in Luton.

Only three forces saw their worst speeding offences occur in 50mph limits, with South Wales Police clocking a driver at 108mph on the M4 at Port Talbot.

Four constabularies captured their worst speeding offences in 60mph limits with a driver in West Mercia snapped at 92mph on the M5 between junctions five and six.

Just one force – Durham Constabulary – caught their fastest speeder in a 30mph limit (44mph).

Williams said: “Clearly, some drivers have taken advantage of quieter roads to speed excessively putting the lives of others at risk at the worst possible time,”

Nationally, the first three weeks of the coronavirus lockdown still produced 17,363 speeding offences in 30mph limits (from the 30 force areas which responded to the FOI submitted by the RAC) compared to 40,497 in the same period in 2019.

“While the most of highest speeds were recorded were on motorways, some occurred on roads with much lower speed limits, which is an even greater concern,” continued Williams.

“The figures for speeding offences on 30mph roads are particularly worrying as far more people have been walking and cycling due to the lockdown.

“As some schools and nurseries in England begin to open their doors from this week, there will be even more pedestrians on the roads, so we urge every driver to obey the speed limit and keep all road users safe.”

Separate data from VisionTrack’s IoT platform shows that fleet and road transport drivers are among those speeding during the lockdown, with overall incidents increasing by 2.6% despite a 22.6% reduction in the number of miles driven.

Greater Manchester Police, which did not respond to the RAC FOI, said it has caught 6,200 drivers breaking the speed limit since Monday, March 23.

It has seen an 57% increase in vehicles travelling above the speed limit over the first few weeks of the lockdown and other forces have reported similar problems.

One driver was recorded at 115mph on a 40mph road in Greater Manchester – 75mph above the limit.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for the road safety charity Brake, said: “Lockdown has shown the value people place in quieter, safer streets and we must do all we can to maintain this momentum, starting with setting an example to those who brazenly flout the law and endanger lives.”

Police Force

Highest recorded speed detected

Limit of road where recorded

Mph over speed limit

Stretch of road

Time of day

West Yorkshire Police

151

70

81

M62

21:55

Suffolk Constabulary

140

70

70

A14

Not provided

Northamptonshire Police

138

70

68

M1 J17-J16

21:11

Gwent Police

136

70

66

M4 J23a-J24

Not provided

Staffordshire Police

135

70

65

Not provided

Not provided

Kent Police

132

70

62

M20

16:00-17:00

Humberside Police

130

70

60

M60 J35

11:43

Police Scotland

128

70

58

A77 Southbound btwn Monkton & Sandyford

13:56

Metropolitan Police

125

70

55

M1 Gateway

Morning

Lancashire Constabulary

120

70

50

M6 J35-J33 & M65

05:30 & 21:30

Merseyside Police

115

70

45

M6 Southbound J24-23

15:21

North Wales Police

111

70

41

A55

12:46

Norfolk Constabulary

110

70

40

A11

Not provided

Derbyshire Constabulary

108

40

68

M1 (N)

20:33

West Midlands Police

108

70

38

M5 J3-J4

Not provided

South Wales Police

108

50

58

M4 - Port Talbot

23:51

Gloucestershire Constabulary

106

70

36

M5

08:00 & 12:00

Bedfordshire Constabulary

104

40

64

Airport Way Luton

10:02

Devon & Cornwall Police

101

70

31

A38 Haldon Hill

14:00-18:00

Hampshire Constabulary

101

70

31

A331

18:28

Cheshire Constabulary

95

70

25

M56 & M6 - 5 vehicles

5 vehicles

West Mercia Police

92

60

32

M5 J5-J6

05:07

Cumbria Constabulary

89

60

29

A590

Morning

South Yorkshire Police

88

60

28

A616 (T) East past A629 Exit Barnsley

Not provided

Dyfed-Powys Police

88

60

28

A483 - Belan

12:26pm

Cleveland Police

86

70

16

A19

16:25

Northumbria Police

86

70

16

A1 Felton by Pass

Midday

Dorset Police

73

50

23

A31 St Leonards

10:00-11:00

Leicestershire Police

58

50

8

A47 Uppingham Road, Billesdon

09:07

Durham Constabulary

44

30

14

Watling Street, Consett

11:52

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Nottinghamshire Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

City of London Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Essex Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Greater Manchester Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Hertfordshire Constabulary

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Lincolnshire Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Sussex Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Thames Valley Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Warwickshire Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Wiltshire Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Avon and Somerset

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

North Yorkshire Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Surrey Police

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

The RAC’s freedom of information request was sent to all police forces in England, Wales and Scotland. In total 30 forces provided data.  

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Comments

  • Edward Handley - 07/06/2020 22:54

    Quiet roads are always tempting, but some of the recorded speeds are simply insane and it is clear that the penalties are not providing an appropriate deterrent. The biggest deterrent for these idiots is a strong possibility of being caught, and that can only be achieved if we have enough specialist traffic police. Teresa May did exactly the wrong thing, even if it was arguably done for the right reasons, when she cut Police numbers. Traffic Police have a massive educational effect, simply by being there and by being seen, and cutting Traffic Police is a major reason why road deaths in Britain flat lined when they should have continued falling. We cannot lay all the effort though on the Police: Many of the extreme speeders are driving high end/high powered company cars which their employers should be monitoring, and should be taking away even f the driver does not get caught by the Police. The insurance companies could also do more, and when a driver is clocked doing ridiculous speeds like 151 mph, the insurer should immediately cancel the insurance policy. If the policy was cancelled automatically it would give the Police much greater leverage as they could seize the uninsured car, which would hopefully focus the attention of some of the idiots. Videos of a few more of the very high performance cars going through the crusher would also hep to make the point. Would the public support such draconian measures? You bet they would - how many tomes have you watched a diabolical bit of driving and wished there was a Traffic Cop about? If the public saw Traffic Police dealing with the more of the extreme idiots they would be delighted - we all like to see a bit of Karma in action!

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